Stress has some ramification on the development and incidence of heart disease. This has been proved by theorists as well as scientists the world over. While it does not directly lead to heart attacks or heart disease, it is a potential risk factor and combined with poor diet and obesity, it can trigger a heart attack.
This area has not been studied in a lot detail but with modern medicine and fast paced lifestyles, more and more people are succumbing to this scrooge. Here are some ways by which stress can affect your health and your heart.
Top Effects Of Stress On Your Heart
The Fight or Flight Response
The fight or flight response has been the subject of scrutiny and has been observed in people when they encounter a stressful situation. When you experience stress, the body produces cortisol and adrenaline which increases heart rate, makes your breath rapid and shallow and releases more fats into the bloodstream to cope with the increased amounts of energy.
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All of this in excess amounts is not good for the health. Not only can it overburden your heart but also wreak havoc on you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Increase In Heart Rate
Stress makes your heart rate go up. This can put undue pressure on the heart making it pump blood faster. If you are a patient of high cholesterol or heart disease, this can prove to be dangerous or fatal as any blockages in the arteries will then interfere with the speed and efficiency with which blood is pumped into the body.
High Blood Pressure
Naturally stress has a direct impact on blood pressure making it shoot up. That is why blood pressure patients are asked to lead non-stressful lives and take it easier. Excessively high blood pressure could then lead to a fatal heart attack or even a stroke which causes brain damage.
Cholesterol Shoots Up
Chronic stress is linked to the release and deposits of fatty acids, triglycerides and other harmful fats in the blood stream to cope with the increased energy demands. This acts as a precursor to the development of heart disease as high cholesterol can lead to arterial blockages as well a disease called as atherosclerosis. An existing heart condition is then exacerbated and exaggerated with the release of fats into the blood stream.
Increased Weight Gain
While it may come as a surprise to many, people who are highly stressed out also report having large amounts of abdominal fat which in turn is directly related to heart disease and stroke. The production of cortisol in a stressful situation affects the way in which fat is deposited in the body. It is no wonder then that the fat is stored in the tummy area. A thicker waistline brings with a host of cardiac problems.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms
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Increased heart rate is often associated with abnormal heart rhythms also known as arrhythmia which is a chronic heart condition. Subsequently with the reduction of stressful responses, this condition can resolve itself. People with this condition may have to exercise more caution.